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#1 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to discuss how everyone keeps their home simplified and manageable despite having ample space. We currently live in about 2200sqft home of livable space, with an additional 800sqft or so unfinished(basement, unfinished upstairs room) plus the double garage. Right now there are only 3 of us, soon to be 4 and possibly in the future ils may visit for extended amounts of time. But mostly just us three for the past 3 years.

So:

how do you keep up with daily cleaning? I currently do not clean every room every day, I try to clean the high traffic areas daily, sweeping high traffic areas daily, low traffic areas a couple times a week, vaccum weekly, the bathrooms weekly, mopping weekly, and everywhere else as needed.

How do you minimize storing items too long turning into clutter? This area I am currently trying to work on.


What are your best tips for living in a large space and keeping it as clean and clutter free as possible?

Would love to hear what everyone else is doing!

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#2 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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I'm not sure why it should be any different from a smaller house?

In some ways, the larger the home, the easier it is to keep clean because you have a space for everything. You aren't trying to cram 3 closets full of things into one tiny 1940's era closet. You have a basement for storage. Once you get a system and a designated spot for everything it should be simple.

Cleaning takes longer than a smaller home but at 2200 sq ft I wouldn't think you'd need over about 3 hours max a week. I guess that breaks down depending on personal preference: all at once? a certain amount of time each day? a certain task each day?

My house now takes much longer to physically clean than my last (smaller) house but it is much less cluttered because I have a place to put everything.
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#3 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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When you move to a bigger house, hold off on furniture buying for a little bit - or a long time - to make sure you really "need" the furniture.

Also, keep the "guest room" free of clutter as much as possible. My goal is to have the guest closet empty, though I have not reached that goal lately.
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#4 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
In some ways, the larger the home, the easier it is to keep clean because you have a space for everything. You aren't trying to cram 3 closets full of things into one tiny 1940's era closet. You have a basement for storage. Once you get a system and a designated spot for everything it should be simple.


My house is 3200 sq ft (not including 3 car garage and the attic we are putting in above the garage). There's only 3 of us but I love having all the space. We like to entertain and family visits frequently.

I don't clean the whole house every day. Generally my week looks like this:

Monday - Laundry and vacuum master bedroom (which is downstairs)
Tuesday - Bathrooms and vacuum upstairs hall and bedrooms (which are carpeted)
Wednesday - Kitchen (there's a general pick up of the kitchen every day but on Wednesdays I do a deep clean)
Thursday - Sweep and mop downstairs (which is tile and hardwood)
Friday - Bathrooms and general spot clean

We minimize clutter by doing two major purges a year (Spring and Fall). This usually involves going through all the closets, kitchen and garage and donating or throwing away items that haven't been used/worn in a year or more. I'm pretty ruthless when it comes to these purges.

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#5 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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My problem has been that having the extra space makes it easy to buy stuff that you really don't need. I love thrift shopping and garage saling and now that I have more room, I find myself buying stuff and then regretting. My goal is to only have stuff that I love. I love decorating and making my space feel very comfortable.

We have 3200 square feet with the finished basement. It is a lot of space, but we have family and friends at our house quite a bit. My DS's friend also hang out at our house a lot. In the near future, I am going to be opening a business in my house so will need to rework the space for that.

Ultimately, we use the basement when we have friends over so it stays clean in between. I do a quick freshening up when someone is coming. I try to keep the main living areas picked up and do deep cleaning on the weekends.

The key with extra space is not to pack it full. The more stuff a person has the more chaotic life becomes (at least that's how I feel).

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#6 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My problem has been that having the extra space makes it easy to buy stuff that you really don't need. I love thrift shopping and garage saling and now that I have more room, I find myself buying stuff and then regretting. My goal is to only have stuff that I love. I love decorating and making my space feel very comfortable.
I am currently trying to purge only and letting very little come into the home, I am doing things that i thought i wouldn't do, like letting things just go to the trash rather than sorting it into the recycle bin, but just need stuff gone. I am getting rid of a ton of ds's toys, they are just taking up space imo and half of them are not getting played with.

for me i think that with all the extra space, i put off getting rid of things instead of dealing with them when the break, need repairs etc. My dh is very bad about this as well.

As a pp said 3 hours a week, I am not sure if that is deep cleaning or all cleaning, but i think i am doing about 3 hours of cleaning a day and i still feel like i haven't done enough. Granted i haven't timed things, but for instance today, i went through the downstairs closet, swept all the main floor, ds and i picked up his room and went through things, i've got the bed linens washing. I still need to vacuum ds's room and going to steam clean and i need to do the dishes, about 3 more loads of laundry, and the floors really need to be mopped today. I never feel like i can get a head, i felt like when i lived in smaller spaces cleanup did not take so long.

I am preggo, so I am heavily nesting and trying not to make cleaning my obsession, but it is hard not to. Dh does nothing around the house and leaves things laying about, and i am trying to get ds to at least pick up his toys.

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#7 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I have close to 3000 sq ft, and I don't find it any different than having less square footage. In some ways, I find it easier because I am not trying to cram everything in smaller closets. I can spread things into the rooms that they actually belong in, and have designated areas for things (instead of sharing or multi-tasking).

I keep a box in each of my kids' closets for outgrown/donate/upcycle clothing. I empty those boxes at the turn of the season when I rotate our seasonal clothes. That is a huge help, because it keeps those clothes out of the dresser drawers, and from having to wash things over and over because my DH doesn't know what to do with them.

My kids have a designated area for their toys, but I keep a wooden toy box (it's really a trunk painted black to match my decor) in the living room for the random toys that make it out of those rooms. We empty the box and put everything back about once a month.

Even though I have plenty of 'space', I do not fill it. There are plenty of open areas in my house without stuff or furniture, and I think that is key. Oh, and like others, I do not clean my entire house every day. Some rooms, like the kitchen and bathrooms, get cleaned every day. My music room, formal dining room, guest room, and office do not.

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#8 of 44 Old 10-22-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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As a pp said 3 hours a week, I am not sure if that is deep cleaning or all cleaning, but i think i am doing about 3 hours of cleaning a day and i still feel like i haven't done enough. Granted i haven't timed things, but for instance today, i went through the downstairs closet, swept all the main floor, ds and i picked up his room and went through things, i've got the bed linens washing. I still need to vacuum ds's room and going to steam clean and i need to do the dishes, about 3 more loads of laundry, and the floors really need to be mopped today. I never feel like i can get a head, i felt like when i lived in smaller spaces cleanup did not take so long.
Nope, I mean just cleaning. Not dishes, not straightening up, not laundry. Cleaning - like what you'd expect a maid to do. In our last house (2500 sq ft) we used 3 maid hours a week, just cleaning/dusting.

But dishes, straightening and laundry should be about the same for any size house. Just my opinion though.
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#9 of 44 Old 10-23-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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I think you should keep some rooms and spaces empty. I arrange things on the shelves in my closets so there's space in between them, and I've adjusted my thinking that closets should be immaculate, not shoved full of stuff.

I definitely don't do the floors nearly often enough. It takes an hour to do downstairs and an hour to do upstairs, because you need to pick up as well if you want to clean the floor.

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I'm not sure why it should be any different from a smaller house?
Because you have space and unused rooms to fill with things that should be thrown out.
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#10 of 44 Old 10-23-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Because you have space and unused rooms to fill with things that should be thrown out.
I have this problem, there's somewhere to put things - out of the way so that I don't have the reminder that they're there and probably shouldn't be LOL. We have just under 3000 square feet and moved from just under 2000 square feet last year and I'm finding it just as hard to keep up with housework - maybe even a little harder. But then again, my kids are older now and play and play all day and haven't quite grasped the idea that you're supposed to pick up after yourself. I think one of my biggest obstacles is that I am a frequent thrifter, I do love to make things homey and I have a hard time getting rid of stuff so it collects and collects.

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#11 of 44 Old 10-23-2010, 06:33 PM
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the decluttering side is basically the same, btu the actual housework side of things is greater. it takes more time to clean two bathrooms than one, and it takes more time to clean 4 than two. a larger kitchen takes more time to clean than a smaller one.

the reality is, if you have more space, you have to allot more time for cleaning it into your rhythm/schedule. what might take me 10 minutes in my small place might take you an hour. what might take me 30 minutes, might take you 2 hours. i mean, just cleaning a frige that's about 1.5 times bigger than mine takes A LOT more time.

so, i think that's how you do it. you just spend more time at it.
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#12 of 44 Old 10-23-2010, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so, i think that's how you do it. you just spend more time at it.
yep that's what i'm finding. I did realize that I do have some other issues at play that may make my house cleaning more difficult. I am borderline hypothyroid, (or at least i think i am, couldn't get dr. to agree), but bottom line is, I can't go on 7 hours a night of sleep, I normally have to sleep 10+ hours, and so that doesn't leave much time for me to get stuff done while ds is sleeping. I feel like I get tired easily and take frequent breaks and ds a lot of time doesn't get as much attention as I'd hoped throughout the day. But as I said before i am trying to cut down on 'stuff' so cleaning becomes simplier and easier and hopefully quicker.

And not directed at you, but this thread was started to discuss keeping things simple and clean in a larger home not a debate of it should be just as easy to clean a larger home. I was just wondering how people keep from accumulating things and how the cleaning schedule works to get some insight on how I can improve my home and routine.

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#13 of 44 Old 10-23-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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I know I definitely have to spend more time cleaning since the size of our home doubled almost 3 years ago.

I used to have 1 kitchen, 1 very small bathroom, extra toilet, small laundry, a tiny living room, 4 bedrooms, and a hallway.

I now have 2 kitchens, 3 bathrooms, extra toilet, a big laundry, dining room, large living room, guest/sitting room, office, 2 hallways, a craft room, and 4 bedrooms to clean..so naturally it takes me longer.

However I definitely find cleaning easier to do now, even though it takes longer, as the rooms are not nearly as cluttered as they were when we were in a smaller space.

I was at a peak of my clutter problems when we had the smaller area, so that just made everything harder.

Since I am actively decluttering this year at last, ahem.. , things are gradually becoming easier.

I clean the main bathroom sink and toilet every morning after my shower. When I am in the shower I clean it down before stepping out.

I do the MM lists and that helps me get through all the rooms bit by bit.

I do the bedrooms in order of ages, just to help me remember where I am up to!
For example I will do the sheets and dusting in my 8 yr old's room first in the list, then when I next tackle a bedroom I will do my 16 yr old's room, then the 19 yr old, then our master bedroom last.

Great idea for a thread by the way! I'm all ears for any ideas others have.

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#14 of 44 Old 10-23-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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Also, keep the "guest room" free of clutter as much as possible. My goal is to have the guest closet empty, though I have not reached that goal lately.
Ahem... Yep definitely need to work on that one...making mental note that will be my next big challenge!

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#15 of 44 Old 10-24-2010, 02:26 AM
 
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I want to discuss how everyone keeps their home simplified and manageable despite having ample space. We currently live in about 2200sqft home of livable space, with an additional 800sqft or so unfinished(basement, unfinished upstairs room) plus the double garage. Right now there are only 3 of us, soon to be 4 and possibly in the future ils may visit for extended amounts of time. But mostly just us three for the past 3 years.

So:

how do you keep up with daily cleaning? I currently do not clean every room every day, I try to clean the high traffic areas daily, sweeping high traffic areas daily, low traffic areas a couple times a week, vaccum weekly, the bathrooms weekly, mopping weekly, and everywhere else as needed.

How do you minimize storing items too long turning into clutter? This area I am currently trying to work on.


What are your best tips for living in a large space and keeping it as clean and clutter free as possible?

Would love to hear what everyone else is doing!
We (DH, DD, babe-to-be, two medium sized dogs, and I) live in a 2500 sq. ft. home (this does not include the double car garage with storage loft and laundry/utility room). Our home has 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, family room, breakfast room, kitchen and bonus room. We purchased this home because we really like the nice neighborhood and forested setting.

Daily cleaning involves only the spaces we use on a daily basis. So, this includes our kitchen, breakfast room, and master bedroom/bathroom. DD is in and out of her bedroom.... I sweep the kitchen and breakfast room most every day and mop at least once a week. The master bedroom is kept tidy (as is DD's bedroom). The master bathroom receives a fairly thorough cleaning about twice a week. The rest of the house stays clean and neat because it is well organized, clutter free and infrequently used (the bonus room and two of our four bedrooms are completely empty).

I do not like having things in storage (because I forget about those things and they evolve into clutter). As a result, most of our closets remain empty. Only the kitchen pantry, MB closet, DD's closet (which also includes the diapers and clothes for the babe due in December) and 1/3 of the front hallway's coat closet are "inhabited." Our garage houses DH's skis, a small tool collection, 3 small boxes of holiday decorations, our cars and DD's tricycle. All of our other closets/storage areas are empty.

I keep our home clutter free by literally refusing to buy non-consumable things unless absolutely needed. Non-consumables are purchased only to replace an existing item that is worn out, outgrown or no longer useful. I always keep a bag or box available for potential donations. At least once a month, I drop off a bag or box at a local charity (worn out things are simply tossed). I keep our home clean by regularly cleaning our most often used spaces before they have a chance to get dirty. Our less often used spaces are simply cleaned as needed.

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#16 of 44 Old 10-24-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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And not directed at you, but this thread was started to discuss keeping things simple and clean in a larger home not a debate of it should be just as easy to clean a larger home. I was just wondering how people keep from accumulating things and how the cleaning schedule works to get some insight on how I can improve my home and routine.
I'm sorry if my post came across that way as that was not how I intended it.

I have just honestly found it easier to keep a larger house neat and organized because I have room to organize everything. I no longer have piles of stuff that I just don't know what to do with. Straightening up is easier because I'm just putting things away - not deciding where to put them.

Some of the PP mentioned having empty space that can collect things. I don't. All of my rooms have a purpose and furniture. Do I have room to pile stuff in the living room? Sure but then I'd see it and it would drive me crazy but that's my own issue.
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#17 of 44 Old 10-24-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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Like others, it is a lot easier for me to keep a big home clean and organized than it was for a small space. Yeah, I have 3k sq ft to pick up and vacuum and dust and so on, but we really do better with all the "stuff" more spread out, instead of packed in.

I know that's not the question, though. For me, the 3-car garage is like a blessing and a curse! I love that we can park both of our cars in there, but the third bay and the shelving along the perimeter tend to be stuffed with things that we should really get rid of. Like an old dryer that we will probably never use, and car seats and strollers and old clothing in totes. I'd love to just store holiday decorations and outdoor stuff like yard tools and automotive thngs, but I am quick to toss things out there that I don't want sitting in a closet inside the house (drives DH nuts, b/c he's the one who spends hours cleaning and organizing all the crap in the garage).

As far as the space - we have quite a bit that is empty. We moved in here with very little furniture, and have slowly bought things over the last few years. But we still could fit a lot more - such as the formal dining room: I would love a fancy dining room set, but for now, there are just kid toys in there. Or the family room - I'd say there is about 1/3 of it empty that could fit another couch, recliners, tables, something to fill the space. But less surfaces means less dusting and less places for clutter to accumulate.

I think with so many closets and cupboards and storage it's important to go through it all periodically to get rid of stuff. We do this with our "art and game" closet probably more than other closets, though still not often enough b/c scrap paper and puzzles without all their pieces and so on accumulate.

We have a ton of clothing - mainly children's - so it has helped us to streamline most of it into a family closet (aka the spare room). We put 8 clothing racks and various bins/baskets to organize it all. It's still always a work in progress, but it means there is less clothing spread out over 5 bedrooms and hallways and laundry room. Well, for the most part.

Even though I love to shop and buy stuff we really don't need () I don't think I do it b/c I know we have the extra space to keep things... I'd say I had similar shopping habits when we lived in an apartment - it was just obviously more cluttered then, though maybe we were better about getting rid of stuff as new things came in, I'm not sure.

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#18 of 44 Old 10-24-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post
I want to discuss how everyone keeps their home simplified and manageable despite having ample space.
So:

how do you keep up with daily cleaning? I currently do not clean every room every day, I try to clean the high traffic areas daily, sweeping high traffic areas daily, low traffic areas a couple times a week, vaccum weekly, the bathrooms weekly, mopping weekly, and everywhere else as needed.

What are your best tips for living in a large space and keeping it as clean and clutter free as possible?

Would love to hear what everyone else is doing!
Lots of purges. If anything comes in, already thinking of what item must go out in order to bring more into the space.
Cleaning a large home is very hard to keep up with for a perfectionist! Especially when one is into home cooking almost all meals, which takes a large amount of dedication for shopping and proper neat storage and then cooking and cleaning every day several times a day. Dogs, other pets, kids, adults, mud, dirt, leaves, all the crown moulding, all those windows, the more space the more time it takes for a perfectly clean and in order house, not just for the inside but also the outside on the porch, plants, etc. Add that to laundry and other things to keep a house running smoothly during the week. A housekeeper twice a month or more would really help, but $ wise that might not possible.
I used to think I wanted a larger house, now I understand I don't want a big home unless I can afford some help with the house duties too to make life cleaner and easier without being a house schlepp all day every day

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#19 of 44 Old 10-25-2010, 08:15 AM
 
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Some of the PP mentioned having empty space that can collect things. I don't. All of my rooms have a purpose and furniture. Do I have room to pile stuff in the living room? Sure but then I'd see it and it would drive me crazy but that's my own issue.
I think this is a mindset shift that has to happen when you go from a smaller house to a larger house and succesfully keep the larger house less cluttered.

I lived in relatively small, cluttered homes until we moved to this one - 2400 sf - 7 years ago.

Recognizing that the "space" is as sacred as the "stuff" is making a big difference in my thinking. It's not just about putting the "stuff" in its place, having a place for each thing, limiting what domes in. It's also about grooming the "space" and keeping it free of stuff.

I hate tripping over things or having to dodge stuff in my path. The kids still leave stuff in the path, and would no matter what the size house. One thing we do is keep storage right where things are used, so we don't have to walk far to put something away. This includes trash and recycling receptacles - there are five trash cans and five recycling containers in my house, because if people have to go into another room to recycle something, they're more likely to just not clean up. We don't have a mudroom or a useful hall closet by the front door, so I have hooks and baskets and shelves and drawers right by the door for coats/shoes/boots/snowpants/hats/etc.

We also cull toys pretty regularly. Even though we could totally clutter up this big house, we don't. Mostly. I probably have way too many books, but at least they are tidy and contained. I choose carefully what gets to stay and what gets decluttered. And decluttering probably needs more vigilance with a bigger house because the space is less contained.

Also I insist that food not "travel" around the house - kitchen or dining room only. In a larger house, crumbs that travel far are more likely to get found by ants or mice or mold than me. And spilled drinks won't wreck stuff if they aren't in a place with stuff to begin with.

There are some rooms that are off-limits to the influences that require deep cleaning. I don't allow food or drinks or art/craft supplies in the bedrooms or "playroom" (a misnomer because we don't keep toys there - it's a music/games/office-work room) Those things stay in the kitchen/dining room. I also don't allow cats in the bedrooms (and we have no dogs). So the bedrooms and playroom don't need much cleaning. I clean the kitchen/dining/living areas regularly, but not the bedrooms (other than changing sheets as needed and vacuuming once in awhile).

I'm not a deep-cleaner and I'm fine with a layer of dust or fingerprints. If I was not, I'd want to choose as smaller house or hire someone to handle those things.

One thing I found was that our house never felt uncluttered until the walls got a new coat of paint. Before, they were very dingy and ugly and had crayon markings and stains and all kinds of ugliness. Visual clutter. Clean painted walls look so uncluttered. That may or may not be relevant. I wish so much that we could replace our ugly stained carpet (beige carpet in the dining area?!?) with hard wood because I think wood is much easier to keep uncluttery-looking than a stained light-colored rug. I didn't think about those factors until we had been here a long time.

And finally, there is a point at which I just can't get our house to look any less lived-in...DH and I work from home and we homeschool 4 kids so there is always someone using the space. It helps to know where the line is between "lived-in" and "cluttered" and where your comfort zone is with the definition of "lived-in." Trying to keep a house with kids completely uncluttered is a losing goal, IMO...just wanted to reinforce that. We are striving here to get our homes as decluttered as possible, but with kids there is a limit to how effective that can be.

Good luck!

- single homeschooling mom to 16, almost-15, 12, and 10
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#20 of 44 Old 10-25-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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Also, keep the "guest room" free of clutter as much as possible. My goal is to have the guest closet empty, though I have not reached that goal lately.
So I need to stop opening the craft room door and throwing things in that I don't want to deal with?

But in the spirit of positivity, I find that once everything has a place and is clustered, it's easier to see what needs to go. As compared to looking at a pile of stuff crammed together and just feeling hopeless.
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#21 of 44 Old 10-25-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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With 3 people living in a 2000+ sf house (yeah, it's crazy), we have huge spaces that don't get used AT ALL. One part of staying simplified is not piling up junk in those areas. Sounds easy, but isn't.
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#22 of 44 Old 10-26-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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we are a family of 5 (the kids are 1, 3, and 4) and just moved out of a 2 bedroom home that was just under 900 sq feet with no garage and a tiny yard. we just bought our parents' that is 2700 sq feet, two storeys, 6 bedrooms, the entire basement is unfinished storage space.

i actually find it easier to keep this home clean as well, simply because we were literally tripping over each other in our other home. my cleaning schedule is something like this:

the upstairs is 4 bedrooms (3 are for the kids, the 4th is a craft room) and one bathroom. mondays we clean the upstairs - change their sheets, tidy the toys enough that we can clean up the floors, dust, etc. they (my 3 & 4 yo) very much like playing upstairs and have their toys usually spread all over the place. i don't mind it being messy, as long as on mondays we clean up so that it isn't dirty.

i make sure the other two bathrooms are really cleaned once a week, tidied up the days in between. the downstairs bedrooms are vacuumed weekly.

i alternate my dusting - one week i very well dust the entire downstairs, get under everything on the shelves, do all the ceiling fans, do the top shelves, etc. and do a quick job upstairs. the next week i do a good job upstairs and a quick job downstairs.

every day i need to vacuum the entry room, kitchen, and family room. laundry, dishes, and tidying up are a daily occurrence as well.

as for the clutter - we bought this home from parents who collected, kept things unnecessarily, and had unbelievable amounts of junk "because they had so much room for it". we both have been turned off from letting even a useless scrap of paper be kept. here.

WAHM to a toddler, preschooler, and kindergarten student. 
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#23 of 44 Old 10-26-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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We don't have quite that much space - about 1800 square feet plus a full attic and basement. I love the extra space, but really struggle with keeping it clean.

I realize this is really a 'Heloise' idea, but I have a cleaning schedule.

Monday -- vacuum downstairs, wash kitchen floor
Tuesday -- strip the beds, wash all linens
Wednesday -- bathrooms
Thursday -- vacuum again if needed
Friday -- dust/clean upstairs
Weekend -- yardwork, bigger projects


It doesn't seem like that much, but I feel like all I do is clean, clean, clean. And my house isn't very clean. I have three kids, we homeschool, my place can get really wrecked, really fast.


Today, I am doing a HUGE clean-up of the bedrooms. I moved all the furniture, vacuumed and mopped, and it was filthy! Holy smokes, my house can get dirty.

I don't know what I would do with a bigger house. I keep trying to talk dh into moving into a teeny house. Maybe I could keep up with a smaller place. We all ready live minimally. My family tells me that it looks like we are one garage sale away from moving out. We don't have a lot of stuff, just a lot of dirt.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#24 of 44 Old 10-28-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Thank you for this thread! We live in 3200 sqft. and I can't keep up with it. We are 3, soon to be 4, but we bought the extra large home to put some distance between us and MIL; but now she has moved out.

Pre ds, we were able to keep up by doing a 'big clean' on saturday's for an hour or two. Now I really need strategies to keep up with it. If I could have done it all over, I would have bought smaller.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#25 of 44 Old 10-28-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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Thank you for this thread! We live in 3200 sqft. and I can't keep up with it. We are 3, soon to be 4, but we bought the extra large home to put some distance between us and MIL; but now she has moved out.
Could you close off some of the rooms/areas or whatever part of the house you thought of as your MIL's? I would consider that.

We hardly used our downstairs level at all for a few years, and that was like temporarily "losing" 800ish sf (out of 2400). It was great; we kept the heat way down in the mostly-unused area, etc. Now we are using it more, probably in part because we painted it and it's actually cozy as opposed to ugly, and also we are USING the space (DH has a pool table in the playroom now, and I have a mini-office, and there are good reading nooks). But it was not hard to ignore 1/3 of the house and live in the other part of the house.

- single homeschooling mom to 16, almost-15, 12, and 10
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#26 of 44 Old 10-28-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Could you close off some of the rooms/areas or whatever part of the house you thought of as your MIL's? I would consider that.

We hardly used our downstairs level at all for a few years, and that was like temporarily "losing" 800ish sf (out of 2400). It was great; we kept the heat way down in the mostly-unused area, etc. Now we are using it more, probably in part because we painted it and it's actually cozy as opposed to ugly, and also we are USING the space (DH has a pool table in the playroom now, and I have a mini-office, and there are good reading nooks). But it was not hard to ignore 1/3 of the house and live in the other part of the house.
We've done that, but it still gets dust etc. And it's hard not to clutter up her living area-- it's so easy to just stash a few boxes etc in there thinking we'll move them out to the gargage.

I had also closed off the nursery and spare bedroom/bathroom, but again, those have started getting used again as I've been sewing more, and the baby has started taking naps in the nursery.

I see lists like RuthieGirls above, and feel so defeated. It would take me so long to vacum or dust or do all 3 bathrooms. (or maybe not that long-- maybe I"m being a baby!) Our first apartment was 1300 sqft, by the time you started cleaning, you were done!

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#27 of 44 Old 10-28-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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Texmati, I've had to make the dumping ground a room that is in frequent use. It's the laundry room or garage now. That way I'm walking past it and see it needs dealing with. Putting things in my not-frequently used rooms just ensures they stay there, even more so now that winter's coming and the rooms with the heating closed off won't be comfortable to be in.
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#28 of 44 Old 10-28-2010, 07:04 PM
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texmati:

i've been lurking on this thread--because i think it's interesting!--but i am reading something in your posts and i hope you do not take offense!

i think part of your problem is that you don't want to do it. so when you do it, it is without enthusiasm, with a bit of avoidance and resistance, and so it slows the process down even more. and if you actually avoid doing it, then the dirt builds up, making the job harder, and creating even more work to do!

in addition, you have more to do now, which actually does take more time, so you add that to the fact that you don't want to do it, and, well, there you go. frustration city!

so, while i know that cleaning isn't the most super-fun job, and i know that most of us do the majority of the work without help of any kind (or minimal help from partners), and that it can be frustrating and overwhelming to always have to pick up and clean up after others, but at the end of the day, the real question is--how do you want to live?

i knew that i wanted to live in a clean, organized space. DH does not like to help (he does help minimally, and he does cook meals), so the majority of the work falls onto me. which is ok, ultimately, because then I decide how we live. LOL

anyway, once you decide that you want to be in a clean place, you accept that it will take effort. You can streamline that effort over time, but you have to accept that you have to do it.

second, it helped me to look at it in terms of the numbers--how much time i spend doing it, and what the rewards are. I actually spend very little time doing it, and for me, the rewards are great. I dont' mind if people drop by, because the house is always clean. i feel happy and comfortable in my home, rahter than agitated that it is messy. so, the return on investment (of time) is actually really high!

look at it this way. if it takes you 20 minutes to clean a single bathroom, then it will take an hour to clean three. you do that in the am, and it's done! then, to keep the house tidy, you do--dishes after each meal and put them away (15 minutes each, 3 times for a total of 45 minutes), laundry (15 minutes for me--5 to load the washer, 5 to load the dryer, and 5 to put the clothes away), tidying up after the kids (3 times per day at 5 minutes per time equals 15 minutes).

so, the total amount of time spent cleaning--in a given day--is your hour for your big chore, plus another hour and fifiteen minutes for the maintenance stuff. that's only 2.25 hours per day, and considering you are probably awake from 7 am until 10 pm, you're really looking at 12.75 hours when you are doing other things. perhaps 1.5 hrs of that is prepping meals (30 minute meals), and voila! 11.25 hours of the day doing other things such as being on MDC, hanging out with your kids, spending time with your partner, tackling a crafting project, reading, etc etc etc.

i found that when i realized that i truly only spend about 1.5-2 hrs a day cleaning, and the results are this great, it just motivated me to keep doing it. it's awesome.

anyway, that might help. i don't know.
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#29 of 44 Old 10-28-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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texmati:

i've been lurking on this thread--because i think it's interesting!--but i am reading something in your posts and i hope you do not take offense!

i think part of your problem is that you don't want to do it. so when you do it, it is without enthusiasm, with a bit of avoidance and resistance, and so it slows the process down even more. and if you actually avoid doing it, then the dirt builds up, making the job harder, and creating even more work to do!

in addition, you have more to do now, which actually does take more time, so you add that to the fact that you don't want to do it, and, well, there you go. frustration city!

so, while i know that cleaning isn't the most super-fun job, and i know that most of us do the majority of the work without help of any kind (or minimal help from partners), and that it can be frustrating and overwhelming to always have to pick up and clean up after others, but at the end of the day, the real question is--how do you want to live?

i knew that i wanted to live in a clean, organized space. DH does not like to help (he does help minimally, and he does cook meals), so the majority of the work falls onto me. which is ok, ultimately, because then I decide how we live. LOL

anyway, once you decide that you want to be in a clean place, you accept that it will take effort. You can streamline that effort over time, but you have to accept that you have to do it.

second, it helped me to look at it in terms of the numbers--how much time i spend doing it, and what the rewards are. I actually spend very little time doing it, and for me, the rewards are great. I dont' mind if people drop by, because the house is always clean. i feel happy and comfortable in my home, rahter than agitated that it is messy. so, the return on investment (of time) is actually really high!

look at it this way. if it takes you 20 minutes to clean a single bathroom, then it will take an hour to clean three. you do that in the am, and it's done! then, to keep the house tidy, you do--dishes after each meal and put them away (15 minutes each, 3 times for a total of 45 minutes), laundry (15 minutes for me--5 to load the washer, 5 to load the dryer, and 5 to put the clothes away), tidying up after the kids (3 times per day at 5 minutes per time equals 15 minutes).

so, the total amount of time spent cleaning--in a given day--is your hour for your big chore, plus another hour and fifiteen minutes for the maintenance stuff. that's only 2.25 hours per day, and considering you are probably awake from 7 am until 10 pm, you're really looking at 12.75 hours when you are doing other things. perhaps 1.5 hrs of that is prepping meals (30 minute meals), and voila! 11.25 hours of the day doing other things such as being on MDC, hanging out with your kids, spending time with your partner, tackling a crafting project, reading, etc etc etc.

i found that when i realized that i truly only spend about 1.5-2 hrs a day cleaning, and the results are this great, it just motivated me to keep doing it. it's awesome.

anyway, that might help. i don't know.
very true. I really, really hate housework! I did feel very whiny writing that last post, so you are right to call me out on it!

I do work so I get home at 6 and go to sleep from 10-12. my son sleeps between 8 and 10 , so weekdays just seem really hectic, and the idea of cramming in an hour of house work to that seems daunting. Counting an hour of house work each weekday, plus, say half an hour for meals, and another 30 minutes for post meal clean up/ next day prep, I do have 2-3 hours to relax with my son, partner, or tackle a crafting project. Or to run errands, pay bills, grocery shop etc.

The math just doesnt work out in favor of spending an hours on daily chore list, for me it has to be a combination of simplifying and doing things on the weekend, and having a very helpful spouse.

BUT, what you say it's true, it is a matter of priorities-- housework has been on the absolute bottom since my son was born. I have been trying to get back on top of it for the last 2 weeks or so especially since my son has become more mobile (and pregnancy nesting hormones have kicked in). I'm the first to admit organization must pay a big part-- as you say, most everyone can do this without much help or whining-- I grew up only seeing 'crisis cleaning' in my home of origin, so that's all I know.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#30 of 44 Old 10-30-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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I have no shame in saying my family is a higher priority than cleaning every bathroom every day.

Zoebird, of course we're not going to take offense. We're very glad to receive what wisdom you choose to pass down to us.
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